East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s trading standards service is warning people to take extra care when considering whether to have their teeth whitened, after finding that some products that are being used by beauticians and dentists for this purpose contain excessive levels of hydrogen peroxide.
The legal limit of hydrogen peroxide in a tooth-whitening product is 0.1 per cent. The council’s trading standards team has recently found products being used in the East Riding with up to 36 per cent hydrogen peroxide in them. This is 360 times the permitted level.
Hydrogen peroxide is commonly used in some hair-colouring preparations and is also used in preparations designed to whiten people’s teeth. The use of hydrogen peroxide in excessive levels can cause damage to the enamel of the teeth.
Trading standards at County Hall say both the general public and dentists need to ensure the products they use do not exceed the permitted level of hydrogen peroxide, products found to contain more than the permitted level of 0.1 per cent should not be used. They also said it is important to note that the Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 2008 and the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 apply to dentists and beauticians and the work that they carry out.
Colin Briggs, trading standards manager, said: “While dentists and beauticians are professionals in their area of work, use of products containing in excess of 0.1 per cent hydrogen peroxide is not permitted.
“Anyone involved in the business of tooth-whitening should, for the safety of their clients, read the ingredients label on any product they propose to use before applying it to teeth. If it contains excessive amounts of hydrogen peroxide it must not be used.”
Councillor Jane Evison, portfolio holder for cultural services, housing and public protection at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “It is good news that more people are interested in taking greater care of the appearance of their teeth but whiter teeth should not be to the detriment of their health and wellbeing.
“We want to highlight the need for people to make sure the products used on them are not going to cause damage to their health.”
Anyone concerned about any tooth-whitening product should contact Consumer Direct by telephoning 08454 040506.